Unfortunately, drug addiction and alcoholism are wide spread problems that effect people from every walk of life. Addiction doesn’t discriminate based on race, religion, gender, or sexual preference. Addicts and alcoholics in the gay community struggle with addiction at much higher rates, however, and often find themselves facing challenges that other addicts never have to face.
When it comes to drug abuse, it is difficult to be entirely accurate. However, experts estimate that anywhere from 20 to 30 percent of people who identify as LGBTQ abuse at least one drug. The rates of drug abuse for those who don’t identify as LGBTQ have abuse rates of 9%.
For many of those in the gay community who abuse alcohol of other drugs, the reasons behind the abuse stem from hardships that come with being gay in a society that doesn’t always accept the lifestyle. This makes it more difficult for LGBTQ people seeking treatment to receive the right kind of care, which means that there is a higher number of relapse among LGBTQ people, since their support system can be harder to come by.
The use of party drugs, and especially heavy use of crystal meth, among homosexual men has been blamed for the spread of the AIDS virus in recent years. Meth is often mixed with alcohol by gay men. Unfortunately, those who abuse drugs are more likely to make irresponsible decisions, and many men who are under the influence of substances will engage in unsafe sex with strangers. This contributes not only to the spread of AIDS and HIV, but many other sexually transmitted diseases.
Studies are currently being conducted on why lesbians seem to have a higher than typical rate of abusing alcohol. The most current research shows that hazardous drinking is a symptom of being victimized in one form or another. Lesbian women can experience victimization in one form or another more intensely than those who do not identify as LGBTQ.